German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis

The German auxiliary cruiserAtlantis (HSK 2), known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 16 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-C, was a converted GermanHilfskreuzer (auxiliary cruiser), or merchant or commerce raider of the Kriegsmarine, which, in World War II, travelled more than 161,000 km (100,000 mi) in 602 days, and sank or captured 22 ships with a combined tonnage of 144,384. Atlantis was commanded by Kapitän zur SeeBernhard Rogge, who received the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. She was sunk on 22 November 1941 by the British cruiserHMS Devonshire.

Merchant raider used by the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during WWII

Name Goldenfels
Owner DDG Hansa
Operator DDG Hansa
Port of registry Bremen
Builder Bremer Vulkan
Launched 1937
Fate Requisitioned by Kriegsmarine, 1939
Nazi Germany
Operator Kriegsmarine
Builder DeSchiMAG
Yard number 2
Commissioned 19 December 1939
Renamed Atlantis, 1939
Reclassified Auxiliary cruiser, 1939
  • HSK-2
  • Schiff 16
  • Raider-C
Fate Sunk, 22 November 1941, in the South Atlantic
General characteristics [1]
Type Merchant raider
Displacement 17,600 t (17,300 long tons)
Length 155 m (509 ft)
Beam 18.7 m (61 ft)
Draught 8.7 m (29 ft)
Installed power 7,600 hp (5,700 kW)
Speed 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h; 20.1 mph)
Range 60,000 nmi (110,000 km; 69,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Endurance 250 days
Complement 349–351
Aircraft carried 2 × Heinkel He 114C

Commerce raiders do not seek to engage warships, but rather attack enemy merchant shipping; the measures of success are tonnage destroyed (or captured) and time spent at large. Atlantis was second only to Pinguin in tonnage destroyed, and had the longest raiding career of any German commerce raider in either world war. She captured highly secret documents from Automedon. A version of the story of Atlantis is told in the film Under Ten Flags with Van Heflin appearing as Captain Rogge.

. . . German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis . . .

Built by Bremer Vulkan in 1937,[2] she began her career as the cargo shipGoldenfels, owned and operated by DDG Hansa, Bremen. Goldenfels was powered by two Six-cylinder Single Cycle Double Action diesel engines, built by Bremer Vulkan. She was allocated the Code Letters DOTP.[3] In late 1939 she was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine and converted into a warship by DeSchiMAG, Bremen. In December 1939, she was commissioned as the commerce raider Atlantis.[2]

Atlantis was 155 m (509 ft) long and displaced 17,600 t (17,300 long tons). She had a single funnel amidships. She had a crew of 349 (21 officers and 328 enlisted sailors) and a Scottish terrier, Ferry, as mascot. The cruiser carried a dummy funnel and variable-height masts, and was well supplied with paint, canvas, and materials for further altering her appearance, including costumes for the crew and flags. Atlantis was capable of being modified to twenty-six different silhouettes.[citation needed]

The ship was equipped with six 150 mm (5.9 in) guns, one 75 mm (3.0 in) gun on the bow, two twin-37 mm anti-aircraft guns and four 20 mm automatic cannons; all of these were hidden, mostly behind pivotable false deck or side structures. A phony crane and deckhouse on the aft section hid two of the 150 mm (5.9 in) guns; the other four guns were concealed via flaps in the side[4][5]:46 that were raised when action was imminent. Atlantis also had four waterline torpedo tubes, and a 92-mine compartment. This gave her the fire power, and more importantly the fire control, of a light cruiser. The ship also carried two Heinkel He-114Cseaplanes in one of its holds, one of these was fully assembled and the other one was packed away in crates.[6]:8 The Heinkel was later replaced at sea with the smaller Arado Ar 196.[7]

. . . German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis . . .

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. . . German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis . . .